The Conservation Commission announces a limited grant opportunity for funding to support food system activities at conservation districts. Up to $5,000 will be available to each successful grant applicant. Funding must be used for activities that will result in products in hand or activities completed by June 30, 2021.

Deadline for application submittals is 5:00pm February 24, 2021.

Link for application:

Funding for this grant was made available by the legislature in their supplemental budget in the amount of $59,000. Because there was some question as to whether these funds would be pulled back due to proposed budget cuts, the Commission was not able to determine the availability of these funds until recently. Of the funds provided, $5,000 will be used to support additional facilitation needs at the Food Policy Forum, and $4,000 will cover Commission costs in Forum participation and implementation of the Food Policy Forum report. The remaining amount of $50,000 will be made available as grants to conservation districts as described in this announcement.

The funding is specifically provided for food system support related activities. The Commission has identified the following areas of activity eligible for funding. The list comes from the recent Food Policy Forum Report as well as activities identified by conservation districts in a recent food system survey conducted by the Commission.

For Further Information, Contact:

Ron Shultz, WSCC Policy Director (360) 790-5994

Karla Heinitz, Management Analyst (360) 407-6212

Eligible areas of activity:

  1. Activities supporting technical assistance providers working with producers to tackle a variety of issues related to pivoting from one market to another.
  2. Support market cultivation by increasing resources to enable coordination to match growers with markets and products with appropriate available infrastructure.
  3. Develop a new or enhance an existing e-commerce platform and support agricultural enterprises to participate so that enterprises that need to can rapidly develop the ability to take orders or sell product online.
  4. Support and expand existing countywide directory of farms selling for local purchasing to help consumers find farm product.
  5. Develop and implement consumer education, marketing, and promotion campaign to help consumers engage with new e-commerce tools.
  6. Activities to connect farmers to markets, local and regional.
  7. Activities to connect farmers to food banks, food pantries, or other outlets intended to alleviate hunger in the community.
  8. Programs to partner with WSU Extension on educational programs and materials on safe food preservation and cooking techniques in food deserts.
  9. Activities which target historically underserved minority landowners with assistance in any of the above listed items.

Required Elements of Grant Application:

Name of Applicant:

Conservation District:

Identify the activities to be addressed by this proposal:

Describe in detail the activities undertaken in the proposal, in particular describe how the activity will be completed by the June 30, 2021 deadline:

If more than $5,000 per district were available, would you request additional funding, and if so, how the additional funding would be spent:

How will your proposal address issues of inequity in the food system in your district or support historically underrepresented communities:

Criteria for Grant Application Evaluation:

Does the proposal directly support one or more of the eligible areas of activity?

[30 points for each area addressed]

Ability to spend, and have all deliverables completed or in-hand, by June 30, 2021.

[30 points]

Does the proposal advance equity or target underrepresented members of the community?

[20 points]

Follow this link to the Formstack Application form Food System Support Grant Application .


February 10 Grant notice released.

February 24 Applications due back at the Commission

March 1 Announcement of grant awards.

June 30 Funds must be spent and work products in hand.

July 10 Final voucher and final activity report due.


Activity Report: The final report to the Commission which describes the work performed under the grant. If possible the report should include photos of activities and data indicating numbers of individuals served or reached by the activity, or similar appropriate metrics.

Equity: The act of developing, strengthening, and supporting procedural and outcome fairness in systems, procedures, and resource distribution mechanisms to create equitable (not equal) opportunity for all people. Equity is distinct from equality which refers to everyone having the same treatment without accounting for differing needs or circumstances. Equity has a focus on eliminating barriers that have prevented the full participation of historically and currently oppressed groups. (Enterprise DEI Foundational Definitions, Version 1, Office of Financial Management)

Food Desert: An area with limited access to affordable and nutritious food, in contrast with an area with higher access to supermarkets or fresh foods.

Underrepresented communities – A group of people whose members have not been, or are not currently, represented in farming, or may lack access to affordable, nutritious food. These groups include:

  • Blacks or African Americans;
  • Native Americans and Alaska Natives;
  • Latin Americans and Hispanics;
  • Asians;
  • Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders;
  • Low income or economically disadvantaged individuals.

Source: WSCC